Machine Tools & Metal Working Blog Blog

Machine Tools & Metal Working Blog

The Machine Tools & Metal Working Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about metal cutting, tools & fixturing, metal forming, grinding, industrial machine control and anything else related to the metalworking industry. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Creating One of a Kind Gifts with a Laser   Next in Blog: Common Threats to Manufacturing Safety and How to Prevent Them

What Makes an Ideal Photo for Laser Engraving?

Posted April 05, 2020 12:00 AM by Epilog Laser
Pathfinder Tags: epilog laser engraving

Whether it’s a family portrait, a wedding photo, or a unique candid shot that only happens once in a lifetime, engraving photos is a popular and profitable laser application. These treasured memories – engraved on wood, marble, slate, etc. – are designed to last a lifetime. However, it can be frustrating for laser owners to achieve the stunning results they see online. Nine times out of 10, the problem isn’t with the engraver or their laser parameters. It’s with the image itself.

So, what makes a good photo candidate for engraving?

While engraved photos are exceptionally popular, engravers sometimes have difficulty achieving the desired look on the medium they’re working with. Before engraving photos it’s important to understand how the process works.

The first thing to keep in mind is that not EVERY photo is going to engrave well. So, what makes a photo ideal for engraving?

Shading: Make sure you have a variety of colors from light to dark within your photo. For example, a single-color photo that has a lot of sky won’t provide much visual interest when engraved, and neither will one with large dark areas. This type of photo may look visually interesting when printed, it will lose a lot of that detail when engraved.

Close-up subjects: Your photo’s composition is an integral part to the quality of the etching. Keep your subject in the foreground for best results. An image where the subject is far off in the distance may be great artistically, much of the detail will be lost in the engraving process.

What else impacts how a photo will engrave?

Materials matter.
A single photograph will engrave differently from one material to the next. Many users like to use black marble for photo engraving, while others choose black anodized aluminum, black plastic, clear acrylic or wood for their pictures. Even if you use the same photograph, keep in mind that each material will produce a different engraved look. We recommend testing a variety of materials with the same photo to determine which material creates the look you want.

Before you start your next photo engraving project remember the tips above and ask yourself these questions below to get the best results:

1. Does the photo show many gradations of color from light to dark?
2. Does the photo show good definition and detail?
3. Does the photo have a good contrast and focus?
4. Does the photo contain a good number of elements to view?

Want to learn more about photo processing? Check out this video. Happy lasering!

Editor's note: This is a sponsored post by Epilog Laser.


Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Previous in Blog: Creating One of a Kind Gifts with a Laser   Next in Blog: Common Threats to Manufacturing Safety and How to Prevent Them